Guelph woman admits inserting needles in meat at supermarket

Qezil, who had worked for Maple Leaf Foods for nearly seven years, lost her job on March 16, Assistant Crown attorney Pamela Borghesan said Friday in a phone interview. On March 17, Qezil entered Willow West Mall in Guelph, bought a set of sewing needles and then went into the No Frills store, where she inserted the needles into meat products, Borghesan said…The needles had been inserted into 12 Schneiders and Maple Leaf products. Loblaw Companies Limited checked all other stores within a 25-kilometre radius of Guelph, including Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Fergus and didn’t find any further tampering.

Guelph Mercury
September 25, 2009

MastooraQuezil.jpeg

Mastoora Qezil, 41, arrives at an east-side Guelph residence in March after making a bail court appearance. Qezil pleaded guilty this week to inserting sewing needles into meat products. Rob O'Flanagan, Guelph Mercury

Guelph woman admits inserting needles in meat at supermarket
Thana Dharmarajah
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GUELPH — A terminated Maple Leaf Foods employee admitted in a Guelph courtroom she inserted 13 sewing needles into packages of meat products at a local No Frills store in March.

Mastoora Qezil, 42, pleaded guilty earlier this week to common nuisance, which is the charge for endangering the lives, safety or health of the public, or causing physical injury to any person. The charge carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail. Qezil is to be sentenced on Oct. 27.

Qezil, who had worked for Maple Leaf Foods for nearly seven years, lost her job on March 16, Assistant Crown attorney Pamela Borghesan said Friday in a phone interview. On March 17, Qezil entered Willow West Mall in Guelph, bought a set of sewing needles and then went into the No Frills store, where she inserted the needles into meat products, Borghesan said.

The accused then bought one of the products, along with other groceries, and left the Silvercreek Parkway North store, Borghesan said. Then “she comes back and says that her daughter had one of the lunchables and found a needle,” Borghesan said.

The supermarket, city police and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency pulled almost 340 packages of meat products from the refrigerator unit for inspection. The needles had been inserted into 12 Schneiders and Maple Leaf products. Loblaw Companies Limited checked all other stores within a 25-kilometre radius of Guelph, including Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Fergus and didn’t find any further tampering.

Borghesan said Qezil was seen on No Frills’ video surveillance, hiding the needle packaging in one of the bins. The accused initially gave a police statement denying her actions, but confessed when police told her about the video, Borghesan said.

Qezil’s 10-year-old daughter also gave a statement to police and Maple Leaf Foods. “She said she ate the meat and it made her throat feel funny,” Borghesan said.

Qezil was arrested March 26.

The Crown concedes Qezil didn’t intend to harm others, Borghesan said. Qezil’s lawyer John Kieffer couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/Local/article/539110


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